GRE 319 - Fareed K Khan
I would firstly like to acknowledge the support and guidance I received from the Scholar Den Founder Faisal Khan and active group members. The Facebook page (www.facebook.com/groups/scholarden) and the Scholar Den GRE WhatsApp group are of great help. Honestly, I think my journey would have been lot difficult had I not come across such amazing people.
Test Day Tips:
- Just relax and stay calm
- Take along with you a water bottle (1 liter at least) and lots of chocolates or instant energy boasters if it means Mithai or dates, your choice.
- Just stick to your plan and pace and you will do great. (I assume that you have practiced at least 10 timed mock tests.
- Sitting for 4 hrs 30 minutes will not be a problem for anyone who has practiced the timed mock tests.
- If you cannot solve a question or do nothing comes to your mind for the first 30 seconds, skip to the next question and come back later. (Use the mark function) Do not waste time. Probably you would get the solution when you come back.
Test Day Experience:
For me sitting for 4hr 30 minutes was not a problem though it was fatiguing. I had practiced a lot sitting and timing myself during the mock tests I took.
The only time I sort of panicked (which was unexpected) was the last section (after I had done 2 quant and 2 verbal sections). And it was probably the third section where I did not perform because of the time management on 1 stupid question that is I think “hard” type but did not click at that moment and took a bit long and my score got slaughtered in Quant section.
If I ask myself am I satisfied with my GRE score the answer is NO because it was meant to be my strength and I was expecting a much better score than a modest 158 for person with an engineering background (no intention to sound belittling to other disciplines though)
Anything I would do differently, if I were to retake the GRE.
- I will from the very start keep track of my time on solving questions from any GRE book I consult for practice.
- I would just relax and keep my pace and follow that 30 second rule (which I made myself after my own experience)
GRE PREP Suggestions:
- For the preparation I would first read the GRE Guides, which are pinned in the GRE Prep Scholar’s den Facebook page.
- I will give a diagnostic test on Power Prep software.
GRE Quant Suggestions:
- For Quant preparation, if you are good at Math then go directly to Manhattan 5lb and practice all the questions. If your math is a bit rusty then start from Manhattan 6 series. (Magoosh Videos)
- ETS Official Book
- ETS Quant Book
- Mock Tests (Power prep is the closest to the actual GRE quant)
- While you follow the GRE books I would suggest to take TIMED tests or the practice sets should be timed.
GRE Verbal Suggestions:
- I already had some basic vocabulary. However, for developing the mind-boggling vocabulary you can consult Magoosh App and Barron’s. (I had learned a lot of words from Magoosh but forgot majority of them and in the last days focused more on Reading Comprehension)
- But cramming those words will not help until you practice verbal section alongside it.
- If you practice from Manhattan 5lb you will instantly utilize the vocabulary you have developed through Magoosh and Barron’s.
- After I have done all the parts from Manhattan I will then go to ETS Official guide and then ETS Verbal for more practice. But ETS resource material I would rather use as a MOCK test scenario. With timed practice sets. (Manhattan 5lb in my opinion is pretty good for verbal as well)
- The most important part is to train yourself for the technique to decode and decipher what is the actual meaning of any text. I did some group Skype sessions with these wonderful people from our GRE WhatsApp group of Scholars Den and there we arduously practiced the technique. We were not concerned with the correct answer but the systematic approach of how to reach to the correct answer. It applies to sentence equivalence and text completion as well. If you have vocabulary you will have no issues with these sections and even if not the case then you still can eliminate the wrong answers and have some chance to get to the right answer. But if that is the part which scares you then Reading Comprehension is your friend.
- The strategies and techniques were not some home-recipes of the participants of the Skype group. The sources I consulted were the Manhattan book on RC and Essay, Gin Technique, Magoosh Videos and ETS. But the key is that you practice and I would recommend to make a group of people and do verbal sections together (at least some part of it , though you would still have the ETS questions for yourself)
I hope this helps. All the Best ☺